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Fantasy Baseball: Unexpectedly Good Hitting Performances

We are just about 1/3 of the way through the season, and at this point we are seeing some excellent performances that are out of line with their performance in 2009.

Vladimir Guerrero

  • 2009: 100 games, .295/.334/460, 15 HR, 50 RBI, 2 SB, 59 R
  • 2010: 45 games, .347/.377/.597, 12 HR, 42 RBI, 4 SB, 29 R
Guerrero seems to have really taken to being in Texas.The lineup in Anaheim was not particularly worse than the one he has in Texas, so that really shouldn't be what has caused the improvement. His BABIP is at .327 for the 2010 season, as opposed to his 2009 BABIP which finished at .313. While there is a bit of a difference there, it's not making up a difference of 50 points in batting average. To me, it seems like Guerrero really is just healthy for the first time in a long while, and I think that he really can continue this for a majority of the season. I think he honestly could hit 30 homeruns and 100 RBI, and even steal 10 bases while he's at it.

Jose Bautista

  • 2009: 113 games, .235/.349/.408, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 4 SB, 54 R
  • 2010: 48 games, .244/.358/.583, 15 HR, 32 RBI, 3 SB, 39 R
Bautista has gone nuts with the power at this point, as he is at the top of the leaderboard for homeruns. However, there is cause for concern. His fly ball rate has jumped from 42% in 2009 to 53% in 2010. Also, his HR/FB rate has jumped sky high from 12% to 22%. He's going to see some regression as those rates return to his career norms. His average might actually see some slight improvement due to a lower than expected BABIP (.226 vs. career .275). To me, he could reach 25 homers, but I don't think his batting average gets much higher than .250. A perfect sell-high candidate if you can find someone to bite on it.

More about Kelly Johnson, Ty Wigginton, and Jose Guillen after the jump...

Kelly Johnson

  • 2009: 106 games, .224/.303/.389, 8 HR, 29 RBI, 7 SB, 47 R
  • 2010: 43 games, .258/.363/.574, 12 HR, 25 RBI, 4 SB, 32 R
Johnson was non-tendered after the 2009 season by the Braves, and caught on with the Diamondbacks. There are quite a few details I am seeing in his numbers that worry me about the remainder of his season. Currently, he is hitting 27% of his fly balls for homeruns, which is nearly double his career rate. His BABIP is at .269, which actually is low for his career rate of .309. I think that Johnson won't keep the homeruns up, but I think that he could finish the season with 22-23 HR and 10 steals. A very nice value for where you had to get him, and realistically I don't think you can get the value he will provide in trade. A hold-on candidate at this point.

Ty Wigginton

  • 2009: 122 games, .273/.314/.400, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 1 SB, 44 R
  • 2010: 43 games, .290/.356/.594, 13 HR, 32 RBI, 0 SB, 21 R
Wigginton already has more home runs than he hit all of last year, but he has hit 22 or more homeruns at least 3 times previously in his career. His walk rate and strikeout rates are both within his career ranges, as well as his BABIP. At this point it appears that he's been a little bit lucky, as his HR/FB% is at 25%, or nearly double his previous rates. That said, I think the batting average is legitimate, and with Wigginton you get the added bonus of multiple position eligibilty. Hold onto him unless you can get unbelievable value for him.

Jose Guillen

  • 2009: 81 games, .242./.314/.367, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 1 SB, 30 R
  • 2010: 46 games, .267/.330/.517, 11 HR, 31 RBI, 1 SB, 29 R
Guillen was slotted in as the designated hitter as opposed to playing the field this season, and it seems to have helped to keep him healthy. His HR/FB rate is nearly double his career ranges (20%), so the homeruns should see a drop off at this point. But I think there is a reasonable chance of him hitting 25 homeruns this season. It would help if he gets dealt to a contending team with a better lineup, but none of the other numbers are really out of range in my opinion. Even his BABIP is in the right range (.293) when compared to his career.